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London - A guitar-maker to the stars of British rock launched his latest creation, a guitar shaped like a mermaid with wavy hair and a scaly tail, on an Internet auction site to raise food aid for Africa.
Andy Manson, a British luthier whose clients have included the instrumentalist and composer Mike Oldfield and members of the rock band Led Zeppelin, put the instrument up for auction on the site www.shop4thelot.com.
By Tuesday afternoon, the wooden instrument had attracted a bid of £5 000. Half of the proceeds of the sale are to go to the charity Harvest Help, which supports farmers in rural Africa.
"The original idea for this piece was the life size representation of a human as the resonating body of a musical instrument, the guitar frequently being compared with the female form," Manson said in a statement on the site.
The Mermaid took nearly three years to build, using 19 different types of wood.
"The instrument is certainly playable, albeit requiring a sensuous posture on the part of the musician," Manson said.